Sympathize: Understand My Tears

Empathy when our sisters of color cry

Anger when our sisters’ head cover is ripped off

Tears when our lesbian and Tran sisters weep

Mourning the loss of our health care

Afraid sickness and dying

Concerned about our future citizens being torn from our arms and cast into the darkness


One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL


The Color of Hope is Blue

Many people are sad during Christmas. They grieve and hurt and even groan as the people around them sing carols, exchange gifts, laugh and  seem completely unaware of their pain.

Are you blue this Christmas? Does your heart feel torn apart?

Did you notice the season of advent is blue?

Advent is the season of expectant waiting. The world waits with anticipation the arrival of a savior to free them from sadness, illness and death.

Let’s take a moment to study two very different biblical sisters at the heart of Christmas in Luke 1:

Elizabeth Pregnant with John the Baptist

Elizabeth (well along in years) became pregnant (with John the Baptist) and for five months remained in seclusion.  “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” (v. 24-25)

How would you feel if you became pregnant long after child-bearing years?  Would you be joyful?

Last night at Bible and Beverages, we talked about another sister whose pain often gets overlooked. 

Mary and the Birth of Jesus Foretold

(v. 26-38) In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,  to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

How do you think you’d react if an angel appeared to you? Would you feel blessed or be worried you were crazy?

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”

Do you find these words comforting?  Can you imagine being the mother of GOD?

How does the church treat unwed pregnant teens? What are your thoughts? 

How can you help Mary this Christmas?

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Wow!  Even before he was born, John the Baptist announced the arrival of Jesus. The Holy Spirit came upon both of these women to proclaim our Lord’s arrival. 

Incredible biblical women!

I love reading these passages at least once a year before Christmas to remember that Jesus is the greatest gift.  

Are you feeling blue this Christmas? Are you grieving or sad during the holidays?

If even the mother of our savior was troubled during this time, then it must be okay for us to have questions and fears as we await his return. 

These verses remind me that God has a plan, the Lord will fulfill his promises and his kingdom will reign forever.  

Remember our tears are a testament of our love and our need for Christ. You don’t have to hide your pain. You are not alone. Tis the season to be blue.


Stone Age Theology

Why aren’t Christian women speaking out about the contraception debate?  Apparently it isn’t much of a debate because the men seem to be dominating the airwaves, while Christian women seem oddly silent.

Where are all the women???? I’m growing hoarse screaming at my television, radio, newspaper and computer screen every time I hear a panel of men or a male politician, a male radio host or some other male…pastor preaching about the sins of contraception or making ignorant, misinformed claims that women can’t get pregnant during rape or incest, or some other shouldn’t have been said, much less repeated ignorant statement about contraception, health, sex etc…

Where are these men’s wives, sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, doctors etc…?  And why aren’t they hitting them in back of the head or politely informing them to shut up???????  Please dear let me help you with those boards in your eyes (Matthew 7:3).

And why isn’t anyone asking each and every one of them, “So you and every sexual partner you’ve ever had has never ever used any type of contraception ever?”

And every male politician is covered by a plan that provides contraception and covers them or a family member if they become pregnant regardless of marital status. A la carte insurance is rarely affordable for anyone who needs it. But that is another post for another blogger.

Am I the only Christian woman at risk of losing my gym membership or job because I’m screaming back at the insanity?

Since I’ve been forced to either hear all these stupid comments or hide in a cave, I feel compelled to throw a bunch of my own stupid observations.  I have hundreds of FB friends, most who are Christian, many ordained ministers and almost all who have been sexually active (i.e. married) at some point in their lives, however none have a child for every nine months they were married. SINNERS!!!!

Why do so many LOUD Christians take bits of scripture, sculpt it into stones and begin throwing it around as gospel, I mean – law? Evangelizing isn’t supposed to be some wicked game of dodge ball.

Rocks hurt! I do not understand how anyone can pretend writing the words ‘good news’ on the side of a rock is going to soften its blow.  How do these statements reflect our love for God or our neighbor?

And why should Christians who value their religious freedom feel entitled to force their religious beliefs on anyone else? Lazy evangelism!

I don’t recall Jesus saying much about contraception, health insurance or the consequences of rape but Jesus did say in John 8:7, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

And I don’t want to throw stones, shake my fist or scream at my fellow brothers and sisters.  But I will share my experience with the Church, contraception and healthcare.

Many years ago I had a tubal pregnancy, went to a Catholic hospital where a priest prayed with me and an awesome doctor saved my life (i.e. removed the pregnancy, repaired the tube and everything else).  The doctor prescribed hormone (contraceptive) pills to stop the ‘stuff’ that caused the pregnancy outside of my uterus.

And many years later my doctor strongly recommended and my husband strongly encouraged me to have a hysterectomy to stop a very bad bleeding problem. Perhaps it was the same bleeding problem of our sister who was healed by Jesus in Matthew 9:20-22.  Who knows?  I only know that I was also healed after I prayed with my pastor and allowed my doctor to perform the ultimate surgical contraception.

And most importantly, like our biblical sister and politicians, it didn’t cost me anything because I had healthcare. Amen!

Related Articles:

Privilege and The Pill by Rachel Held Evans

Pregnancy Coverage for Men? by Michael Hiltzik

Birth Control vs Hysterectomy in Catholic Hospitals by Hormones Matter

Always Bee…utiful

This post has been refreshed:

When Philip was 9 years old he gave me the extremely sturdy, can’t believe it hasn’t fallen off the wall “My Mom is bee…utiful” plaque.

I was surprised!

I imagined Philip must have been the very last child to enter the school store.  The shelves completely bare – not even one silk rose, box of chocolates or other regular “MOM” gift to buy.  He sadly watches a lucky boy buy the very last silk rose.  The only thing left is this plaque.  He reluctantly pulls his money from his pocket because he has to buy something – I’m his mom!

There are a few flaws in my assumption. Philip is not an impulse buyer.  He is very conscientious, particularly in choosing gifts.  He will not settle. He spends hours, days, weeks etc…making choices. He will not be rushed.

Yet I’m still shocked!

Despite my ugly attitude, the plaque became cherished because it was a trying time.

Philip and I ran away from his abusive father when Philip was only three years old.  While I was safer, Philip visited his scary Dad. Philip was scared, angry and appropriately acting out.

I struggled with making the “right” decisions, wanting him safe without breaking his bond with his father.  I know his Dad broke that bond, not me, but nothing felt right.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Pretty is, as pretty does”?

Beauty is an action, a reflection of Christ’s love and sacrifice.  It reminds me of Jochebed, Moses’ mother.  The sacrifice she made to keep Moses alive by putting him in a basket, and her joy when Pharaoh’s daughter called her to nurse her own son.


Like Jochebed, I protected my son.  The court and I severed his ties with his Dad. Philip was finally safe. I think the plaque says escaping domestic violence is Bee-utiful! 

Do you find it annoying when a beautiful women argues with you when you compliment them? I do.

Yet I rarely think of myself as attractive. My daughter asks,  “Why don’t  you think you’re beautiful?”  Busted! And speechless.

How did she become so smart?  It really hurts to be hit with your own stick.

Matthew 7:3

I want my daughter to be confident. I want her to know she is beautiful! How can that happen if I don’t model it?

Note, I totally disregarded the possibility that Philip was referring to physical beauty.

Many years ago a Lutheran Women Today  bible study encouraged women to share complements.

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “encourage one another and build each other up…”

It felt strange going around the room complementing each other. I sounded awkward and goofy but the thoughts were true.  I just wasn’t comfortable expressing them.  Now, I share every positive thought I have with my bee-utiful sisters of Christ. They flow naturally.  I can’t even imagine holding them back. It would be like withholding a gift.

Bible study taught me to stop arguing with people complimenting me.

Believe me – I’ve improved! I might look stupid when my mouth falls open but I try to close it before I say something stupid or start to disagree.  I became really good at changing the subject, telling a joke or turning the tables, but I’m still working on whittling down this gigantic board in my eye.  I’m learning to say  “Thank you.”

I’m still avoiding.  Autumn wants me to acknowledge I’m beautiful, my son gave me a physical reminder, my husband says I’m beautiful.

This blog searches for the greatest truth – love. I matter to God.  So why is this so hard? It’s not like I haven’t done this before.

When I was a teen, I said I had long eyelashes.  The Bible leader corrected, saying my lashes look long under my bushy eyebrows. Her comment is still funny and didn’t scar me for life but I’m still stalling.

Looking in the mirror, I have pretty bluish-green eyes that usually carry a laugh or dance with joy. My eyebrows are rarely bushy. I love my hair.

I think women who have the courage to leave abusive relationships are brave, therefore I’m brave.  And I think all courageous  women are incredibly beautiful.  So OK Autumn and Philip – I’m bee-utiful!  Thank you for spurring me on.

Thank you Philip for my plaque. I love it and I love you for giving it to me.

Thank you Lord for chopping away at that board. Thank you for creating me ~ bee..utiful!

Share Sisters of Christ:  Share your stories of bee-utiful women you admire. And SHOUT (type) out “I am bee..utiful!”

New Clothes by Christ

New DressI love jumping into the Bible. It is so much more fun than being a biblical spectator silently identifying the bad guy, rolling my eyes at the stupid guys and weeping over the least, lost and left out. So let’s take a ride back in time and throw ourselves into the Old Testament book of Zechariah.

Zechariah 3 provides beautiful imagery of Christ in his Old Testament visions and prophesies. Since Zechariah is already a bystander, and since some of my followers are clergy and all are “reformed” sinners, let’s put ourselves in the sandals of Joshua, the high priest.

Throughout the Bible, God, particularly Jesus, seems really hard on priests. Christ always seems to talk bad about the clergy, identifying their mistakes and chastising them for keeping the rules but missing the grace. What often gets lost in the translation or sermon is – love. We hear the rebuke, feel the sting and hope we never experience the wrath of God.

Sad GirlTruth be told, if you’re reading this blog, as a sister of Christ, you’ve already been reformed into the priesthood of Christ. You may reject the collar but despite our baptism, we all mess up, getting those beautiful white linens washed clean during baptism dirty! Yuck!

Just like Joshua, we are impure priests. And as a congregation, we are often harder on the clergy, and ourselves, expecting a perfect, sinless trail from our baptism forward.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve mess up so bad I can’t imagine how I’ll ever find my way back. And wonder why would God even want me back. I know better! But I still screwed up.

So how are we made clean again, if we have but one baptism? I think God tells us through Zechariah’s vision, let’s begin –

The Angel showed Zecharia the following vision:

I, the high priest was standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan was standing at his right side to accuse me.

The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebukes you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you! Is not this woman a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

Now I was dressed in filthy clothes as I stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off her filthy clothes.”

(Not fond of being stripped naked in front of a crowd but I’ll go for it, for scripture sake)

Then the LORD said to me, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

Then Zechariah said, “Put a clean turban on her head.” So they put a clean turban on my head (gotta love a new hat – Thank you Zechariah!) and clothed me, while the angel of the LORD stood by.

The angel of the LORD gave this charge to me: “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “‘…Listen, High Priest KAREN (insert your name) … I am going to bring my servant (Jesus) and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. (The Cross)

“‘In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit under your vine and fig tree,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

Want to share a fig? Fig tree

Burnt Bridges

BREATHE deep sisters

Fill your lungs with thick, dark smoke

Enjoy the smell of fire

Bask in the warmth of the flames


You’re safe! 


Release the tension in your shoulders

Let the knots in your belly unravel

Let the TEARS flow


You’re safe!


The bridge is BURNING

Fear consumed

Pain behind


You’re safe!


Look around

Today is a new beginning

Full of HOPE


You’re safe!


You brought your heart


Full of LOVE

DANCE sister


You’re safe! AMEN!


Do not be afraid! Starting Over!

Shake off your dust;  rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck,  Daughter Zion, now a captive. Isaiah 52:2
The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this [my daughter] a burning stick snatched from the fire?” Zechariah 3:2
If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:5

Crying in the New Year

BalloonsWe made it through Christmas.  Our expectant waiting is over.  The Savior is born. The New Year has begun, our resolutions made, thoughtfully planned, diligently executed. Hopefully, only a few foolish promises have been broken before the first month has barely begun.

The clock started and the question never seems to be whether we’ll keep our resolution but for how long.

Do resolutions set us up for failure?

I haven’t been able to find a biblical context for making them and the only resolution I’ve kept is the resolution to stop making resolutions!  I honestly can’t recall the last time I made a resolution.

I can’t save myself. My self-esteem doesn’t need any more blows! So why set myself up for failure? Isn’t that why I need a savior?

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)

This sinful fallen world provides enough disappointment and tears without setting such low expectations.

So many sisters and brothers suffer from depression during the holidays, some from the loss of loved ones, illness or hardship.  Others wrestle with mental illness or swarms of mind altering relatives or good intentioned “church” people, binding up the New Year, swinging it about our heads and bringing it crashing down with a loud THUD! The only ringing may be in our ears from the blow.

I’m not against setting goals or making daily reflections.  There are lots of resolutions I’ve admired. Aspilled winend I’ve made lots of life changes, just not as New Years’ resolutions.

I’m OKAY!  I had a great New Year! No one spoiled my celebration or spit in my champagne.

But not everyone parties in the New Year.  While I didn’t cry in this New Year, I have others.

Several of my friends have lost loved ones. And quite frankly this hasn’t been the most joyous year for our family.  Our daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease this year; and I’m writing this post as she sleeps in the chair next to me receiving her 2nd Remicade infusion. I pray it works.  I pray it is the miracle we’ve hoped for.

Following our savior to the cross (Easter) can be very painful, difficult, exhausting and hard work.  So if you’re feeling a bit over or under whelmed, you are not alone.

Let’s take a moment to meet our holy family (Mary, Joseph and Jesus) in Matthew 2.  After the magi visit them, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to keep him alive. I guess it’s the way God talks to guys named Joe.

Joseph obeys and the family goes to Egypt to stay, fulfilling what the Lord said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”(Hosea 11:1)

While we rejoice that our savior, Jesus is saved, let us recall that not all rejoiced. Herod killed all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he learned the savior was born in Bethlehem.  This fulfilled what was said through the prophet Jeremiah (31:15):

“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”

Scripture doesn’t say, Rachel rejoiced because her child was sacrificed, was thankful for the time she had with her child or was comforted by her other children. She grieved and was upset.  She refused to be consoled and God recorded her tears in scripture with the promise of the empty tomb. Why? Because God never breaks resolutions!  Amen!

Jesus fishLord, thank you for hearing your daughters’ tears.  When we weep, you comfort. Even when we refuse, you remain, keeping count of our tears. Thank you for sending your son, as a sacrifice for our tears. Amen.